Social media has almost killed the world of paper stationery. Invites no longer come through your letterbox. Instead, you get a notification that an event page has been created and you are one of the lucky 2,000 to be invited. It’s easy to miss the invite to your friend’s birthday celebrations when it’s amongst pages of invites to tempting events such as “A Tribute To Meatloaf at The Old Rooster” and “Lost my phone again, numbers please”. As for cards? No such luck there either. You’re lucky to get a “hb” on your wall or maybe a tweet from that kid with the twitchy eye in your social media class. Now, social media is great for many things. But it definitely takes the personal touch out of events and celebratory greetings. Perhaps it’s time to go back to the good old paper stationery days.
Store Bought Cards
Admittedly, store bought cards have improved. There are some fairly punny ones out there with cute illustrations to boot. A garden pea saying “hap-pea birthday”, a couple of sheep saying “we love ewe” and a banana letting you know that it finds you “a-pealing”. But chances are, someone else might have purchased the same card as you
There are services that will let you personalise cards. You simply log into their site, upload some pictures of you and your loved ones and set them into premade templates. You can add your own message on the front. This is great. Your friend’s name can be printed on the front or perhaps a personal in-joke. The card can then be sent to you in an unsealed envelope so that you can fill it out by hand. Or you can type in your message online and have the card sent straight out to your friend’s address. There are further perks to this option. For example, you can choose to add extra gifts such as balloons, a teddy bear or chocolates.
The downside to personalised online card services is that by now, most of us have used them. The recipient knows just how easy it is to create them. Yes, it’s personal. But it doesn’t take a whole lot of time or effort. For the real wow factor, you should probably consider going full DIY.
Good Quality Card
First things first, you’re going to need some good quality card. The first prerequisite is that it should be thick enough to stand alone. Once this box is ticked, you pretty much have free rule. Card colour, texture and patterned designs are all things that you might like to consider.
Not all of us are intricately handy with Stanley blades. A small slip could also leave you with a cut. At best, a small split in the skin. At worst, a trip to A&E to reattach the end of your finger. Both cases are definitely unfavourable though. Blood will also ruin the hard work you’d put into your creation so far. You might say that you’re going to put blood, sweat and tears into the card. But let’s keep that figurative. Laser cutting is a much safer option if used as instructed. Lasers can cut all sorts of beautiful, intricate designs into paper and card. You can get a miniature laser cutting machine yourself. They are available for around $300. However, this is a lot of money to pay out all at once. Alternatively, you can use a laser cutting service. Companies such as Laser Light Technologies can cut all sorts of materials. From thick sheets of metal to card and paper.
Stamps are great if you plan on creating multiple cards. For example, holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and Independence Day. Stamps mean you can repeat the same message over and over without too much effort. Certain stamps are widely commercially available. Example designs could be “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Holidays” or images of turkeys, snowflakes or presents. For personal messages, you can get individual letter stamps. If you want a personalised stamp. For example, your signature or name, you can have one custom made. Laser cutting can also create stamp rubbers. Make sure you’re stocked up on a range of inks of all sorts of colours. Glittery inks are also available for an extra added touch.
Most little kids will draw a picture of them and their loved ones on cards. Why cut this off at childhood? Well, a hand drawn image by your average adult isn’t quite so adorable. Frankly, it will probably just look like a stickman with the appropriate hair colour scribbled on top. Plenty of art students earn a little extra cash by drawing personalised illustrations of people and their pets. Contact one, send reference pictures and negotiate a price. It’s a win-win situation for you both.
Who said that invites have to be made of card? For extra special occassions, go all out and try out completely alternative invites. Perhaps you’re getting married. What better occasion to make a song and dance of inviting your guests along. Have your message engraved into wood by laser cutting service. Some will be able to offer micro drilling procedures. This would create a hole to string a piece of ribbon or string through. Your guests can hang it on the wall next to the calendar to constantly remind them. Alternatively, you can make wooden fridge magnets, coasters or other household essentials. Your invites won’t be thrown away and will make a lovely keepsake.
Have a chocolate mould made with your invitation details on. Melt chocolate, pour it into the mould and have your very own personalised chocolate invites. Just remember to send them with accompanying paper invites, or your guests might eat them and need reminding of the date.
Inflate And Save The Date
This genius idea has made it’s way onto various websites. Inflate and save the date invites consist of a balloon and a card. The balloon will have the event details printed on it. The guest will be instructed by the card to inflate the balloon and save the date. When the balloon is blown up, the date will stretch and be revealed.